Caterpillars could hold the secret to new treatment for osteoarthritis

A substance from a fungus that infects caterpillars could offer new treatment hope for sufferers of osteoarthritis according to new research.

Cordycepin is an active compound isolated from the caterpillar fungus Cordyceps militaris and has proved to be effective in treating osteoarthritis by blocking inflammation in a new way, through reducing a process called polyadenylation. The research was undertaken by scientists from the University of Nottingham and supported by funding from Versus Arthritis. The findings have been published today in Scientific Reports.

Dr. Cornelia De Moor from the University of Nottingham’s School of Pharmacy led the study and said: “The natural compound cordycepin is derived from a caterpillar fungus which is famous in the Far East for its medicinal properties. In this paper we show that orally administrated cordycepin reduces pain and halts disease progression in animal models of osteoarthritis. Intriguingly, it does this by a different mechanism than any other known anti-inflammatory painkiller, through affecting the last step of making a messenger RNA, polyadenylation. This means that medicines derived from cordycepin may help patients for whom other treatments have failed. We hope that cordycepin will prove to be the founder of a new class of pain killer, the polyadenylation inhibitors. There is a long way to go before a cordycepin derived medicine reaches patients, but our work is very promising we are very excited about the prospects.”

Full story at Medical Xpress

Can nanotech slow the progress of osteoarthritis?

There is still no cure for osteoarthritis. However, one innovative nanotechnological approach may help send therapeutic agents deeper into the affected cartilage and remain active for longer.

Predominantly a condition associated with older adults, osteoarthritis is a debilitating condition.

Affecting the cartilage in the joints of the body, osteoarthritis impacts an estimated 26 million people in the United States.

Sometimes, the condition begins with an injury or disease-related damage to the joint.

Full story at Medical News Today

Physical Activity May Decrease Mortality Risk in Frail Older Adults, Say Researchers

While previous research has found that physical exercise decreases fall risk and improves mobility, researchers at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM) in Spain wondered whether physical activity could reduce frailty-associated mortality risk. In their study, published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, authors found that physical activity decreased mortality rates for healthy, prefrail, and frail adults over age 60.

Authors used data from a nationally representative sample of 3,896 community-dwelling individuals to explore any “separate and joint associations between physical activity and frailty” and all-cause and cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality rates.

At baseline, in 2000–2001, researchers interviewed participants at home about their “leisure-time” physical activity: inactive, occasional, several times a month, or several times a week. They administered both the Fatigue, Resistance, Ambulation, Illness, and weight Loss (FRAIL) scale and 3 items from the 36-item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36) to measure frailty, fatigue, resistance, ambulation, and weight loss. Participants also were asked whether they had been diagnosed with pneumonia, asthma or chronic bronchitis, hypertension, coronary heart disease, stroke, osteoarthritis or rheumatism, diabetes mellitus, depression under drug treatment, hip fracture, Parkinson disease, or cancer.

Full story at APTA

What to expect from knee surgery rehabilitation

A person may have knee surgery to treat pain in the joint due to an injury, such as torn cartilage or a torn ligament. It can also treat other conditions, such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and post-traumatic arthritis.

This article will look at the different types of knee surgery, the rehabilitation timelines, and what people can do to help speed up the recovery process.

Types of knee surgery

There are various types of knee surgery. The type that a person has will depend on the particular injury to the knee joint.

Full story at Medical New Todays

Visual illusion proves effective in relieving knee pain for people with osteoarthritis

In a new study published in the journal Peer J this week, researchers at UniSA’s Body in Mind Research Group have found people suffering osteoarthritis in the knees reported reduced pain when exposed to visual illusions that altered the size of their knees.

UniSA researcher and NHMRC Career Development Fellow, Dr Tasha Stanton says the research combined visual illusions and touch, with participants reporting up to a 40 per cent decrease in pain when presented with an illusion of the knee and lower leg elongated.

“We also found that the pain reduction was optimal when the illusion was repeated numerous times — that is, its analgesic effect was cumulative,” Dr Stanton says.

Full story at Science Daily

FLEX CEUs: New CEU Courses

LOW BACK PAIN: THE ROLE OF FEAR

Low back pain (LBP) is one of the most prevalent diseases in most developed and developing countries, and evidence suggests that psychosocial factors, especially fear-avoidance beliefs are important in predicting patients who will progress from an acute to a chronic stage, as well as failure of interventions.  The goals of this CEU course are to evaluate the relationship between trunk mechanical properties and psychological features in people with recurrent LBP, determine whether balance response of LBP patients is different from healthy controls under various conditions, and find out whether body sway is related to the fear of fall in LBP individuals.  Fear and psychological distress in regards to pain and disability is also discussed.

LOW LEVEL LASER THERAPY EFFECTS ON INFLAMMATION

Inflammation of the synovial membrane plays an important role in the pathophysiology of osteoarthritis (OA).  The goal of this CEU course is to evaluate the effects of low-level laser therapy (LLLT) on joint inflammation.

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How is psoriatic arthritis different from osteoarthritis?

Psoriatic arthritis and osteoarthritis are types of arthritis. Psoriatic arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that happens to some people who have psoriasis. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition that occurs when the cartilage at the end of the bone wears away.

Arthritis is a term used to describe over 100 conditions that cause joint pain or joint damage. Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common type of arthritis, affecting over 30 million Americans.

Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) and OA share some common symptoms, but there are also some key differences between the conditions.

Full story at Medical News Today

Scientists use nanotechnology to detect molecular biomarker for osteoarthritis

For the first time, scientists at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center have been able to measure a specific molecule indicative of osteoarthritis and a number of other inflammatory diseases using a newly developed technology.

 This preclinical study used a solid-state nanopore sensor as a tool for the analysis of hyaluronic acid (HA).

HA is a naturally occurring molecule that is involved in tissue hydration, inflammation and joint lubrication in the body. The abundance and size distribution of HA in biological fluids is recognized as an indicator of inflammation, leading to osteoarthritis and other chronic inflammatory diseases. It can also serve as an indicator of how far the disease has progressed.

“Our results established a new, quantitative method for the assessment of a significant molecular biomarker that bridges a gap in the conventional technology,” said lead author Adam R. Hall, Ph.D., assistant professor of biomedical engineering at Wake Forest School of Medicine, part of Wake Forest Baptist.

Full story at Medical Xpress

Do We Really Understand Osteoarthritis of the Knee?

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a major cause of disability worldwide and according to “The global burden of hip and knee osteoarthritis: estimates from the Global Burden of Disease 2010 study“, OA of the knee is the 11th highest contributor to global disability. Put simply, millions of lives are affected by the disease every single day. It is predicted that it will advance to become the 4th leading cause of disability by 2020.

The cause of knee osteoarthritis is complex and certainly multi-factorial in nature.  There is a great summary over on Physiopedia, but in brief, it is a complex interaction between systemic and local factors. These factors include: advancing age, genetics, trauma, knee malalignment, increased biomechanical loading of joints through obesity, augmented bone density and an imbalance in physiological processes. It has been frequently reported, and it is a common thought, that obesity and advancing age are the two critical, and biggest, contributors to increasing prevalence of OA. This belief is being challenged by new evidence which may suggest that perhaps we have been approaching our understanding from the wrong perspective.

Full story at PhysioSpot

Physical therapy is safer than arthroscopy for degenerative knee pain

According to the Arthritis Foundation, approximately 27 million people in the U.S. have osteoarthritis, with the knee being one of the most commonly affected sites. Knee arthroscopies are the most common orthopedic procedures in the United States.

A recent guideline published in the British Medical Journal recommends against arthroscopic procedures for most patients with knee osteoarthritis and meniscal tears.

The guideline, which was based on a 2016 systematic review, indicated that outcomes for knee arthroscopy were not any better than those for exercise in patients with medial meniscal tears.

Full story of PT safer than arthroscopy for knee pain at Central Jersey